A new high-tech soil lab is coming to the Eden Project thanks to more than half a million pounds worth of investment.

The lab, the Centre for Excellence in Land-Based Research and Knowledge Transfer, will help with sustainable and productive land and soil management.

Led by The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) in collaboration with the Eden Project, the new centre has been made possible through a £574,820 investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth programme.

The programme, funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, is managed by Cornwall Council.

This centre will be in Eden’s new geothermally-heated Growing Point nursery.

The lab will be at the cutting-edge of the analysis of soils, plants and feedstock, supporting the shift towards more environmentally friendly farming, and helping businesses become more productive, competitive, and eligible for future environment-based funding streams.

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The centre comes at a time when the Government begins phasing out direct support payments for the agricultural industry, replacing them with new incentives for environmental land management and sustainable farming.

With nearly 75 per cent of all land in Cornwall and Scilly farmed, the new venture is described as vital for the region’s economy and natural environment.

John Evans, principal and chief executive of TCCG, said: "This new centre will be a focus for knowledge and research collaboration among Cornwall’s land-based industries.

"It will create a unique high tech hub for soil science and stimulate innovation and growth, making the sector more resilient and diverse while helping to grow and enhance our environment."

Dan Ryan, head of higher education at the Eden Project, said: "We hope that this new Centre for Excellence will help revolutionise regenerative agricultural practices in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

"Not only will it benefit local farmers and growers, it will contribute to a greener, more prosperous future for the region in a way that sees us all working with, for and as part of nature."